First U.S. Offshore Wind Farm Approved
Cape Wind, the offshore wind farm proposed nearly a decade ago, finally won federal approval in 2010, paving the way for the building of the first U.S. offshore wind farm. It is expected to produce enough electricity to power much of Cape Cod, Ma.
Not only that, but the Department of Interior has launched an initiative to make it easier for the next big wind farm to win approval with fewer delays. Companies have proposed projects in Rhode Island, New Jersey, Delaware and New York, among others. Perhaps as importantly, Google announced that it's investing heavily in a an electric transmission network that will be able to carry 6,000 mw of electricity from offshore wind farms between New Jersey and Virginia about as much electricity as is produced by six coal-fired power plants.
The potential for generating renewable energy from offshore wind farms is great: Companies have proposed building turbines that could generate as much power as five coal-fired power plants, Google is investing in an electric power transmission network to shuttle it onshore, and the Department of Interior is backing off plans to expand offshore oil drilling and is instead making it easier to permit new offshore wind farms.
Efforts to build other innovative large-scale renewable energy projects are also underway, particularly in the desert Southwest, where some of the world's largest solar energy projects are getting ready to break ground.